The future holds my mind captive.
The WordPress daily prompt Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other asks me to describe in six words what I think the future holds for me. Not that long ago, had I been asked this question I likely would have described my hopes and ambitions. Now, I see things a little bit differently. The “future” is an idea, an abstract concept. It is not tangible. It never arrives. We can never go there. Only our thoughts can go there.
Eckhart Tolle explains in his various books and interviews that all we have is now. The mind, however, does not want to be in the present moment. It loves past thinking and future thinking. Too much future thinking can be a problem if we become identified with it or caught up in it. Many people (myself included) have fallen into the trap of thinking that once some event in the future has occurred, we will then feel happy. Maybe we think “as soon as a graduate, then I’ll be happy,” or “as soon as I buy a car, then I’ll be happy.”
The future event never arrives, because as soon as it occurs it is no longer the future. It becomes the now. When next week arrives, it will no longer be next week. It will be now. When next month arrives, it will no longer be next month. It will be now again.
So once our much anticipated event arrives, we might be happy for a little while. However, if we cannot stay in the now and are always looking into the future, we will not feel happy for long. Our mind will say, “okay that was fun. Now what?” Waiting for the future to arrive or to bring us something is like chasing a shooting star by driving our car down the highway
As you can see, I’m doing my best to follow Tolle’s teachings. Now is all we have. Only our minds can go into the future which they do by thinking and daydreaming. And even though the future holds my mind captive, I don’t think my mind minds it too much. Heh. I couldn’t resist saying that. My mind is enamoured with the future and is a willing prisoner.
Well that’s enough serious talk for today. If something here spoke to you, feel free to drop me a comment.
Thanks for stopping by!